June 2, 2018

Official Opening of the CCF new Gateway Trail

May 1, 2018

Cranbrook Community Forest

Cranbrook Community Forest Society is the happy recipient of a $1,110.00 donation from the EKCCU as a result of the Cash Award Program the Credit Union sponsored this spring. Out of 14 applications, we came in third. Our project is explaining the thinning work that was done in the C.C.F. that took place this past winter and the resulting effects on natural forest regeneration, including related information about our Society's history and educational goals.
This money will go towards constructing the informational kiosk site in the Forest explaining four demonstration plots of varying tree stem densities and how the forest density affects overall forest health and tree growth.

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February 22, 2018


The thinning project is the Cranbrook Community Forest is almost complete only 4 hectares of the 48 hectares proposed still remain to be cut and skidded. The remaining

forest looks good, retention rates are from 114 to 195 stems per hectare which means we have a bit more than 150 trees per hectare left, a significant drop from the 3500

stems per hectare we started out with. The variability is determined by how many large suitable trees were on site; we do want to retain the largest trees as they have

the best chance of having a good root system that can resist wind blow over and can better grow in an open forest. The trees are clumpy to better withstand wind

pressure and provide a bit better habitat for wildlife. All roads and landings were built of ice which will greatly reduce any trace of them in spring after the harvest. The

trees on the landings were sold as sawlog and pulpwood, these trees are still being hauled off site. The very small trees are currently being ground up into hogfuel and

this fuel  has been sold to the Skookumchuck pulp mill were it is being burnt to warm the pulp boilers and generate electricity. The Cranbrook Community Forest Society

will walk the ground post harvest with the Trench Society to see what clean up is required. Just as a reminder please do not enter the forest where the logging and hauling

crews are working. The loggers are working safely but they cannot always see walking people amongst the falling trees and machinery.

February 19, 2018


Cranbrook friends - the results are back from the dogs who passed away after being in the Cranbrook Community Forest.

The substance is not naturally occurring and the police are moving forward with a criminal investigation.

Please leash your dogs and also watch your kids if they are playing off trail.

Results from the necropsy and toxicology came back confirming a foreign toxic substance found in both dogs sent for testing at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University. This means that we are confident in saying that this is not a naturally occurring substance, and this is not an environmental issue. This supports the RCMP’s Investigation into criminal behavior. At this point, we cannot release the identity of the substance as it is a key part of an ongoing criminal case. On that note, we urge anyone who may have any information to call the Cranbrook RCMP (250-489-3471) or Crimestoppers (1-800-222-8477) or visit bccrimestoppers.com

We also advise you to still be cautious in the area, or avoid it all together. Any suspicious activity or information should be reported to the RCMP.

We care very much for the heath of your animals so we hope you share this information with our community. We would also like to give a special Thank You to Lisa Cox of the Recreation Sites and Trails BC for a massive financial contribution. Also, we would like to thank the Cranbrook RCMP for taking this case very seriously and pursuing investigation, as well as Cranbrook Veterinary Hospital and Tanglefoot Veterinary Services for their assistance as well.

Thank you,
Steeples Veterinary Clinic

October 22, 2017

We just finished ribboning out a sample harvest, in the Community Forest, map is attached.  The leave trees are ribboned  in blue ER ribbon over .56 of hectare for each of 1A (29 trees over .576ha +50 stems/ha), 1B (56 trees over .56 ha+ 100 stems/ha) and 1C (115 trees over .576ha+ 200 stems/ha). It is the south most part of each unit, in the area were contractor is most likely to start cutting.

Please leave the ribbons on the trees, they are needed to ensure a successful outcome to this project.

Please see attached map link for clarification.

Test Ribboned area (3).pdf Test Ribboned area (3).pdf
Size : 1956.485 Kb
Type : pdf

September 2, 2017

Please be advised (& tell your friends) the North Gate will remain locked 24/7 in accordance with the Crown Land closure for the Community Forest. 
No access whatsoever is allowed (or legal) until the closure is lifted. Please help keep our forest & community safe.
Access means no walking, biking, running, - no people -

More current information can be obtained by accessing the Rocky Mountain Forest District website or The Drive FM radio website.

June 28, 2017

 If you are taking a walk in the Community Forest over the next two months you may note that there are small wire cages scattered about the forest beside some spray painted trees. It is nothing to be worried about, they are not wildlife traps and the trees are not being vandalised. The Cranbrook Community Forest Society has hired a local researcher to establish vegetation plots in the forest prior to a thinning project scheduled to be completed in the forest this fall and winter. What we want to find out is how the trees, moss, grass and shrubs response to various intensities of thinning, and we intend to remeasure these plots after the treatment. If you want to know more about the thinning project there will be a public presentation on fire interface and mega fires at the College of the Rockies at 6:00pm July 10th 2017.


June 20, 2017

New Interpretive Kiosks & Boot Brushes from the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council installed in the Community Forest!

May 18, 2017

The CCFS AGM last nightwas a success with about 25 people attending.  Following a review of the 2016 accomplishments, presentations were made regarding Trail Maintenance and Construction, update on the harvesting plans above the College scheduled for winter 2017/18, and a summary of the survey findings from the COTR students).  In addition to new bylaws being adopted, our CCFS Board comprised of Joe Cross (President), Gaby Zezulka (Registrar), Kathleen Opal (Treasurer), JoEllen Floer (Secretary), Grant Griffin, Randy Harris, Todd Hebert, Tara Szkorupa, Chris Bullock and Walter Rechlin (new Director!) were confirmed.  We acknowledged Brian Marriot's contributions to the board over the last couple of years as he stepped down.

May 6, 2017

Press release from the College of the Rockies Tourism & Recreation Management Program regarding a research project completed in partnership with the Cranbrook Community Forest Society on forest usage by the community.


March 8, 2017

COTR/CCFS Interview &/ Focus Group

The Cranbrook Community Forest Society, in partnership with the Tourism & Recreation Management Program at the College of the Rockies, is conducting research to answer questions about the Cranbrook Community Forest. We are seeking individuals who are willing to participate in a one on one interview or focus group about the Cranbrook Community Forest. Interviews will be conducted on Tuesday, March 14, and Thursday March 16, 2017 at the College of the Rockies Cranbrook campus. Focus groups will take place during the same week (March 13-17, 2017), but at times yet to be determined. Snacks will be provided, and the interviews/focus groups should only take 30-45 minutes, approximately. If you would like to participate in either activity, or would like further information about the research, please feel free to contact me (gkcord@gmail.com) with your name and contact information, as well as your preference of either a focus group or interview. This is an excellent opportunity for you to help the Cranbrook Community Forest Society determine the future of the Cranbrook Community Forest.

Please feel free to pass this email along to others you think might be interested in taking part in the information gathering process.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you,

Kyle Cordingley

and please participate in the survey about the Community Forest - see below !!

March 7, 2017

College of the Rockies Research Project Survey for the Cranbrook Community Forest Society

Please open & read the attached letter (right clik to open the link in a new tab) in explanation of the above survey.  The CCFS has been working with the College Tourism and Recreation Management Program to present this survey to gather information regarding the best management of the Forest.  Participation is completely voluntary, but your views/opinions are valued.

The https: link below will provide you with the survey & submission process.  Right clik on this link as well & open in a new tab. Thanks to all who participate!

CCFS Board of Directors



November 3, 2016

Trail Construction in Progress! 

The Cranbrook Community Forest Society is currently constructing a new trail on College of the Rockies lands and in the Cranbrook Community Forest. This wide, machine built, low gradient trail will start at the College of the Rockies and gradually climb to Sylvan Lake to provide access to the forest for beginner mountain bikers, walkers with strollers, and people with mobility issues. Please give space to equipment and workers during construction. Thank you to Columbia Basin Trust, the Regional District of East Kootenay and BC Hydro for funding this initiative, and to our partners College of the Rockies and Wildhorse Cycling Club.

OCTOBER 13, 2016


To folks walking their dogs in the CCF - Reports of at least two poisonings resulting in death to the dogs within the p ast week. The substance is believed to be white and poison is highly toxic. Do not touch. If you notice anything suspicious, call the Cranbrook RCMP to report. (250-489-3471)  You can also report natural resource violations to 1(877) 952-7277.


Notice signs are posted at trailheads in the CCF.

October 6, 2016

You will notice some new signage at various locations in the Community Forest which are meant as reminder & education about no shooting regulations on a developed portion of a Recreation Site, Interpretive Forest, or Recreation Trail.  The Community Forest falls within this designation.

These signs are posted to help ensure the safety of all users.


June 1, 2016

Please note that there is now an inclusive number to call if you observe any natural resource violations in the Community Forest or elsewhere!  (unauthorized motor vehicle access, trail damage, wildlife interference, vandalism...)

 This number will reach the Conservation Office Services as well as a Natural Resource Officer -

1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on cell phone


May 17, 2016

This is worth reading --

With respect to the RDEK Public Hearing on April 26th, regarding Bylaw No 2689 for Cranbrook East (known as the East Hill).  Directors Rob Gay (Area C), Lee Pratt (City of Cranbrook), Tom Shypitka (City of Cranbrook), as well as Andrew McLeod (RDEK Planning & Development Services Manager) and Tracy Van de Wiel, (Planning Technician) attended the the public hearing.  29 members of the public attended.  There were 17 letters submitted opposing the zoning amendment as it had no restrictions. Overall, there was support for a solar project in general.  One letter supporting the project and one note supporting the project.

The general focus of comments at the meeting was support of a solar project on the 6600+ acre site, with the exception that there needed to be some restrictions (as there are for some other allowable uses like a gravel pit).  11 people spoke to the need for some restrictions, and 7 spoke in favour of no restrictions.

On May 3, RDEK Planning & Development Services Manager submitted a Request for Decision to the RDEK Board,.  Prior to bylaw adoption the applicant agreed that the following parameters for a development agreement to be registered on the title of the property as a restrictive covenant:

“No solar energy facility may be developed on the property unless:

1.     It is located a minimum of 500 m. from the property boundary;

2.     Is located no more than 200 m north of E-W BC Hydro right of way;

3.     Is located north of SW-NE BC Hydro right of way;

4.     Does not exceed 800 ha (1977 ac) in parcel coverage.”

The RDEK Board had three options to consider on this matter for it’s May 6th meeting:

1.      THAT Bylaw NO. 2689 cited as “Regional District of East Kootenay - Cranbrook Rural Zoning Bylaw No. 1402, 2001 - Amendment Bylaw No. 42, 2015 (Cranbrook East/608534 BC Ltd.) be read a third time; and further, that a development agreement containing the items identified in the May 3, 2016 staff report be registered on title prior to bylaw adoption.

2.    THAT Bylaw NO. 2689 cited as Regional District of East Kootenay - Cranbrook Rural Zoning Bylaw No. 1402, 2001 - Amendment Bylaw No. 42, 2015 (Cranbrook East/608534 BC Ltd.) be read a third time.

3.    THAT Bylaw NO. 2689 cited as Regional District of East Kootenay - Cranbrook Rural Zoning Bylaw No. 1402, 2001 - Amendment Bylaw No. 42, 2015 (Cranbrook East/608534 BC Ltd.) not proceed.


However, Mayor Lee Pratt, City of Cranbrook, opposed Option 1, indicating that none of the restrictions were necessary.  The RDEK board voted to accept Option 2.

Needless to say, it is very disappointing that the RDEK Board did not see the need for some restrictions on a 6600+ acre parcel (larger than the size of Cranbrook) that would address the needs of the proponent and the general public.

The minimum 500 m. from the property boundary would have created a buffer zone between a solar project and the Cranbrook Community Forest.

April 16, 2016

Regarding the East Hill bylaw zoning amendment application to the Regional District of East Kootenay. Adding “solar energy facility” to the list of permitted uses for that RR-60 zone would allow a utility scale “solar energy facility” to be constructed over some or all of the 6,600 acre property, larger than the size of the City of Cranbook. For City Council and RDEK Directors to suggest that Cranbrook and area residents interests would not be affected by such a potentially massive and visually intrusive development overlooking the east side of the City is misleading.  What assurances are being given to area residents beyond promises by a land owner that cannot be upheld after the bylaw is passed?

 Once the bylaw is adopted, there are no opportunities for any further input by area residents or the City of Cranbrook.

 The response period:  Address your letter to the RDEK Board of Directors, 19 - 24 Avenue N., Cranbrook, BC V1C 3H8.  They must receive it by April 26th.  Provide your name and address.  (Someone from outside the area might not carry the same weight as a local person.)

 The Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00 PM in the RDEK Board room.

 Procedure:  You will have an opportunity to express your views but there will be no debate. Comments are recorded but letters tend to hold more weight. It’s important to be respectful and objective. 

 If nobody shows up to the hearing, the RDEK would be right in assuming there is no interest in this item

 The Public Hearing is our only opportunity to voice concerns.  The Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00 PM in the RDEK Board room.

 For additional information contact Sharon Cross, 250-489-4412.



CCFS news and presentations on forest restoration and our new trail plan.

Please attend to support your Community Forest !

January 15, 2016

The Cranbrook Community Forest Society would like to recognize and thank Kootenay K9 Adventure Co. for its generous donation to the CCFS!  Its great to have the CCFS and the work that we do acknowledged by local business!

Kootenay K9 Adventures is a new company in Cranbrook specializing in dog walking and pet care.  You can check out the website for more information and details of services.



October 26, 2015

New Kiosk in the Community Forest!

Thank you to ArbourTech Forest Management Ltd., Oliver Thomae, for constructing and installing the newest kiosk in the forest at the intersection of Larch Trail and the access road.  Our new 4x8 informational sign has the latest map and information displayed for visitors in the forest.

A note:  The access road will be closed to motorized traffic at the end of October, when the North gate will remain locked until next June.  Foot, bike and horse traffic are always welcome.


June 7, 2015

Another successful weed pull was held this year in cooperation with the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council and the CCFS!

We targeted Dalmation Toadflax growing around Sylvan Lake. Projects like this helps to mitigate the spread of invasive weeds in the Forest!

Already this year the CCF trails have been getting some attention.  In the Eager Hills, a re-route around a marsh will help protect riparian habitat and some new trail through the open grasslands will connect existing singletrack and provide some exceptional views.  The Eager Hills dry out early and the trails are already seeing extensive use - please be respectful of other users.  The Eager Hills are part of the Cranbrook Community Forest, a non-motorized recreation area managed by Recreation Sites & Trails BC through a partnership with the CCF Society.


June 16, 2015

BC Public Service Day

The Community Forest Societythanks all the volunteers for the improvements you accomplished for our Forest!

Note from Darin Welch who initiated and organized this years project for the BC Public Service Day -

"A huge thanks to everyone who came out to participate for BC Public Service Day 2015.  The true essence of cross agency collaboration was celebrated  as teams worked on 3 projects in partnership with the Cranbrook Community Forest.

 The invasive weed group managed to fill 4 bags of “Dalmation Toadflax”.  In total, 45 kilograms of invasive weeds were pulled ultimately helping to mitigate any future spreading of non-native species within the 4 lakes area of the forest. 

 The trail sign group managed to hang over 10 signs within the forest to help guide hikers, bikers, and other users to various sites and locations. 

 The trail building/parking lot rehabilitation group successfully dispersed a very large load of gravel to trails and kiosks at the forest entrances.  The truth is, is that some wheelbarrows handled the weight better than others - in the end the use of Jack’s tractor helped the team achieve a great end result!  


February 2015

The CCF Society has requested additional parking space be provided by the City just West of the existing "Gasline" parking area. The land is owned by the City of Cranbrook. This is a recognized need, as illustrated by the attached photos that show parking areas off of 2nd Street South completely crowded on a typical day. Right now our request has been referred to the Engineering Services Department for review. We are hopeful the City will be able to do this for the community and will keep you posted.

The city denied our request.


September 2014  -  facts about the Community Forest Society you may not know about :)

Excerpts from the CCFS presentation to the Cranbrook Rotary Luncheon Meeting on August 14, 2014 --- 

In addition to a mixture of forest, grassland and lakes, providing a home to an abundance of birds, waterfowl, deer, coyotes, ground squirrels, and other wildlife species, as well as amazing wildflowers and plants, the Community Forest has several identified & registered archeological sites at various locations in the forest containing cultural heritage materials that many people do not even realize are there!

Last year we completed a four-year mapping project that culminated in the production of a colourful, pocket sized trail map with lots of information about the forest ecology and history and new updated trail routes.  Local businesses have been very supportive in the promotion of the map by stocking it for sale in their locales.  2013 also was the year new breakaway trail signs were installed throughout the entire forest.  These signs are similar to the Trans Canada Trail signs and provide trail names and arrows indicating the direction of travel for people out enjoying and exploring.

New cedar trail signs to be mounted on trees will be installed on some of the more heavily used trails this summer.  A lot of the older cedar signs are very weathered and hard to read. Trail work has also been completed to prevent erosion and sloughing of side slopes on some of the “at risk” trails, and surface grip treatments were installed on bridge decks. 

All of the contractors we have hired for CCFS projects have been local businesses!

In July we hosted a “weed pull” led by the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council, as an educational event which also resulted in 10 big garbage bags of invasive weeds pulled and removed from the area around Sylvan Lake. 

The North American Orienteering Championships were held in the Eager Hills area in 2010.  Over 600 participants and families from all around the world attended this event.  The CCF was also the venue for the Western Canadian Orienteering championships, and, the International Orienteering Organization is considering Cranbrook as the site for a World Youth Championship.  On September 7th this year the BC Long Distance Championships will be held at Eager Hills.  All these types of events attract visitors to our area, adding to Cranbrook’s economy. 

The Community Forest has been the site of several mountain bike races, notably the “Six in the Stix” events that brought participants from the entire East Kootenay area into Cranbrook, and there are other cycling events held throughout the year. 

A big challenge for us has been to educate and encourage users to use the pet waste stations, located at the three main trail entrances to the forest, and clean up after their dogs.  Thanks to the Playpen, who donated the sign posts and disposable bags, we have a solution to the dog poop inevitably encountered on trails, we just have to keep persisting in our efforts to get people to responsibly pick up after their pets.

Participating in local Farmers Markets has given us a chance to promote the forest and let people know it is not just an area that is out there as a free place to recreate, but it is actively managed, looked after, and protected by a committed group of volunteers operating as a non-profit society & in conjunction with the Ministry of Forests, continues to pursue improvements and educational opportunities.  As you know it takes many hundreds of volunteer hours to be successful in providing opportunities and resources like this to the community. 

Environmental damage caused by the illegal use of off road vehicles and dirt bikes in the forest has been a concern for many years.  The Society has an ongoing security contract from June 1 to October 31 where the road is monitored and checked daily and the north entrance gate is locked overnight from 10 pm to 6 am daily to prevent unauthorized vehicle access.  Still, there are individuals who continue to abuse the use of the forest, causing environmental damage.  We continue to work with RSTBC Enforcement Officers trying to curtail the abuse.  The introduction of off road vehicle licensing legislation by the Province, which we hope will come into effect this year, will provide an avenue to identify the vehicle operators who are trespassing, and to enforce the consequences of non-compliance. 

We have worked closely with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations on all our projects to date and have received tremendous support and encouragement from them. We are proud in what we have achieved over the years but much more needs to be done to preserve this special place which can be enjoyed in all seasons by all people.  The CCF is available to every citizen irrespective of age or socioeconomic status.  The CCF is a vital link to maintaining good mental and physical health of our citizens.  The ability for people to take part in recreational activities creates a sense of community and allows for many social interactions.  On any given day the CCF is used by scores of people, including families with young children, grandparents, hikers, biking groups – people out enjoying this exceptional resource at our doorstep!  Not many communities have such a unique area so close by. 

We hope to maintain a lasting legacy for our community.  Having responsible stewardship will preserve the Forest in perpetuity and maintain its integrity.  The Cranbrook Community Forest is a remarkable place that with care and attention will be used by generations of people from Cranbrook and the surrounding area as well as providing a sustainable environment for wildlife, and a destination for tourists & visitors.

Kiosk Improvements - Fall 2014

You may notice new looks for the Kiosks at Mount Royal and Sylvan Lake!

Many thanks to Oliver Thomae of ArbourTech Forest Management Ltd., along with Diana Thomae; for taking on this project; to Stacy Roberts at EMCO for donating supplies; to Willard Turley for volunteering at Park Royal, to Dr. Zacharias and Dr. Roy, & Candice Norrie, for their help in the heavy lifting at Sylvan Lake; & to Dale Trotters of Maple Leaf Excavating for his backhoe expertise !

Everyone's efforts to complete another improvement for the Community Forest is much appreciated.
(The middle section of the kiosk at Sylvan Lake will be replaced with new signage soon and we hope that the newly seeded ground will grass out next spring!)


News Article from the Cranbrook Daily Townsman - June 5, 2014

Improvements underway in Cranbrook Community Forest         

Another beautiful season is here with lots of opportunities to get outdoors for some fresh air and exercise, just minutes from your door, in the Community Forest!  The Cranbrook Community Forest is designated and managed as a semi-wilderness area available for a wide range of non-motorized recreational activities and forest/grassland education encompassing over 2000 hectares! 

The Forest is managed by the Cranbrook Community Forest Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the enhancement and protection of the integrity of the Community Forest.

This year the Society has provided improved trail signage and new kiosks to help people feel more comfortable trying out new trails and new maps to help the explorers among you.  Some remedial work has already begun on heavily used trails to improve the surface and prevent erosion.  If you see a “crew” of people working on “Bonehead” or “Windy Bluff” trails, please be assured that they have had training and are under the direction of the CCFS Board.

The Kettle Lake Interpretive Loop Trail signs will be replaced this summer with new placards that are bright and easy to read.  It’s worth a walk around the lake!

The North Gate (above the S.E. Fire Centre) will be open on June 1st.  This road provides motor vehicle access into the forest and is the only designated road for vehicles.  Because the grasslands throughout the forest are very vulnerable to ecological damage, we ask that people refrain from crossing them except on designated trails, and definitely do not drive on them!  (Please note the South Gate remains locked year round.)

There are many more people out in the forest than in previous years, especially dog walkers and bicyclists.  If your pet is vulnerable or aggressive in any way, please use a leash or other means to keep them in your control and to ensure your and your dog’s safety and the safety of other forest users.

Please also make use of our Pet Waste Station’s bags and convenient garbage cans to dispose of dog waste and trash.

Thanks to the many individuals who on their own are picking up garbage they find and disposing it in a responsible way.  Your help in taking pride in and keeping our forest clean is much appreciated!

Weed Pull July 2014

Farmers Market Display


June 9, 2013 

Changes and improvements to our Community Forest this spring 2013!  You may have noticed a new look on many kiosks in the Southern part of the forest.  Thanks to funding from Columbia Basin Trust, the Regional District of East Kootenay, and the City of Cranbrook we were able to get seven new signs made to replace older kiosk signage along popular trails - Kettle Lake, Sylvan Lake, Loggers Lane, Fenceline, the 3rd parking lot trail, and the North and South gates. Examples below of one of the smaller signs - ie:  Fenceline, Kettle Lake,and large signage at the N. & S. gates , (the old & the new). These signs were all installed in May.  We have also begun some trail identification for users by way of break-away signs at major trail intersections.  Decals will be placed on these brown signs identifying trail names and direction of travel.  We hope these signs will help people identify their location and destinations while enjoying the forest.  Our new map is in the final stages of editing before publishing.  We are all very excited to complete that project as well!  These undertakings are huge and could not be accomplished without the volunteer efforts of busy people who are working for the improvement of our Community Forest for the benefit of everyone!

Fenceline Sign  - Before

              Kettle Lake Old Sign

          North Gate Old Sign

South Gate New Sign
Fenceline Sign  - After

         Kettle Lake New Sign

        North Gate New Sign

South Gate Old sign 

New Trail signs at Eager Hills 


Volunteers efforts much appreciated!

Thanks to Tamara (pictured with Fred) for volunteering to check on and empty the newly placed garbage can at the Sylvan Lake trail Kiosk.  We hope that with the availability of biodegradable dog waste bags (thanks to the Playpen!) and a receptacle for deposit, that the trail in from the parking area will be much cleaner! We encourage users to make use of this new service to clean up after our canine friends.  We would also like to thank Paul and Debbie for continuing to provide & empty the garbage can at the 2nd Street Gate entrance. November 10, 2012

New Kiosk Signs installed in October 2011 - see text post for information

At left - Gasline Kiosk and above Sylvan Lake Kiosk

Above Left - Isadore Canyon Kiosk; above Fraggle Rock Kiosk, and below Eager Hills Kiosk